Microsoft has launched a very small gallery of Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets, for installing in Vista Beta 2. It is located at gallery.microsoft.com, and currently has eight Gadgets:
Scribble – a chalkboard for doodling and notes, with or without a Tablet PC
A memory game
Jacks-or-better video poker
A Simon-like game (remembering the pattern of lights)
Jamometer – Seattle- and Puget Sound-area traffic
Sudoku Assistant – for solving Sudoku games easier and faster.
These are in addition to the Gadgets that already come with Vista, but add up to a sad and small number. Considering how light and easy to use the Gadgets are, I desperately want more. After a lot of searching, I found exactly one Gadget to use: a power meter gadget, from Encyclotech. They also have a search Gadget and a Run Gadget. If anyone finds any others, let me know.
I like to run my Gadgets mostly-transparent, so they don’t distract, but can be seen only when I want them. This can be accomplished by right-clicking any Gadget, clicking Opacity, and then selecting a level (I chose the lowest, 20%). This works because the second your mouse passes over a Gadget, the opacity is temporarily turned off. Here you can see them all in action, with some pulled off the Sidebar, as I prefer them:
I’m running the power meter, calculator, CPU meter, clock, Recycle Bin and Post-it Notes. The clock is not transparent, because the style I customized it to, with its neon colors, matches my desktop image perfectly.
Finally, a little Windows Vista Sidebar tip: To show the Sidebar at any time, just hit the Windows key + Spacebar. It will immediately appear over anything, with all the Gadgets. Took me twenty minutes to find that one.